On May 16, the US Air Force (USAF) revealed that it had successfully conducted a test of a hypersonic missile with a speed of 5 times the speed of sound. It is known that the test was carried out off the coast of Southern California on May 14.
A Lockheed Martin-made missile flew five times the speed of sound on Saturday, the U.S. Air Force said, bringing to three the number of U.S. hypersonic weapons that have achieved successful test flights.
“This was a major accomplishment by the ARRW team, for the weapons enterprise, and our Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Heath Collins, Air Force program executive officer for weapons, in an emailed statement. “The team’s tenacity, expertise, and commitment were key in overcoming the past year’s challenges to get us to the recent success. We are ready to build on what we’ve learned and continue moving hypersonics forward.”
The successful test comes amid a U.S. military effort to develop several types of hypersonic weapons to match similar Chinese and Russian advancements. Hypersonic weapons are maneuverable in flight, making them difficult to intercept. Russia has reportedly used hypersonic weapons during its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The airborne rapid response weapon, known as the ARRW, is launched by a B-52 bomber.
“After separating from the aircraft, the ARRW’s turbochargers ignited and burned for a certain amount of time, reaching five times the speed of sound,” the USAF said.
Brigadier General Heath Collins, executive director of the USAF weapons program, declared, “This is a great achievement for the ARRW development team!”
He added: “The persistence, expertise and commitment of the team are key keys in overcoming challenges and achieving success. We are ready to build and will strive to continue advancing the technology. supersonic”.
Lieutenant Colonel Michael Jungquist was even more confident about the launch. “We performed the test perfectly. Our highly qualified team made history with this first air-launched hypersonic weapon,” he said. weapons reach the soldiers as soon as possible.”
Before this successful test, the US had 3 failed ARRW test launches in 2021. The US Air Force then had to withdraw its budget estimate in 2022-2023 for the ARRW development program.
The US is not the only country possessing high-tech weapons. Aleksey Zhuravlyov, chairman of Russia’s pro-Kremlin Rodina Party, said the Satmar nuclear missile – also known as “Satan II” – could reach Britain from Kaliningrad, a small Russian enclave in Europe. for about 200 seconds.